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Marriage automatically confers numerous legal benefits to a couple. While some can be established through a separate legal agreement, like a Domestic Partnership Agreement, these measures don’t have the legal strength of a right obtained through marriage. More importantly, married couples enjoy many legal benefits that cannot be obtained through a civil union or contract, such as paid leave to care for an ill spouse, survivor benefits, and the right to not testify against your spouse.

Goals of the Gay Rights Movement

Gay marriage rights are considered an important element of gay rights (though a better, more inclusive term is LGBT rights, as it also includes bisexual and transsexual communities). However, marriage equality isn’t the sole issue. The overarching goal is equality in all areas in life, including protection in the workplace (currently, LGBT workers are not a protected class), aforementioned benefits and the ability to serve openly in the military. The latter form of discrimination was enshrined in the form of the Don't Ask, Don’t Tell policy until its abolition in 2011, which led to the discharge of nearly ten thousand servicemen between 1994 and 2003 alone. Another important goal of the equality movement is the possibility for having children, including adoption, in vitro fertilization and commercial surrogacy.

For more LGBT legal help, ask a question and get a personalized answer from a lawyer near you.

This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.

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